In April 2013, inactive hardcore punk band Modern Life Is War, announced the re-formation of their full original line up and the plans to record a new full length album. This news was announced on the dangerous date of April 1st, the international day of tomfoolery. Thankfully, the announcement was no joke and the band released their return album, Fever Hunting, in August 2013. Fever Hunting sees the band returning to the raw, mid-tempo punk style of their 2005 album, Witness.
In this review, we will analyze all eleven songs of Modern Life Is War’s first new album in six years.
1. Old Fears, New Frontiers – The album begins with the short intro song,”Old Fears, New Frontiers,” which acts as a re-introduction to the band. The drums crash and the guitars screech out bent intervals as singer Jeff Eaton shouts the refrain of the title, “Old Fears, new frontiers,” his voice ragged and scraping as ever. The band starts the album with power and urgency, preparing the listener for the following ten songs.
2. Health, Wealth and Peace – The true beginning of the album, “Health, Wealth and Peace,” is the first of a number of mid-tempo, musically simplistic songs on the album. The band’s sheer power makes up for the songwriting simplicity, but the true strength of the song is the lyrics. Singer Jeff Eaton delivers powerful, self-effacing lyrics that express the regret of adulthood and the realization that simply growing up does not make one’s problems disappear.
He sings, “You can’t squeeze love from hateful action / picking up the pieces of the days when youth was my religion and my friends were gods / awoke an aged atheist in a cold sweat begging for recompense.” The singer seethes with self-loathing, accusing himself to be a man who has turned his back on his friends and his youth by trying to grow up and mature. By doing so, he has found himself alone and shaken, begging for forgiveness. As the song continues, the powerful lyrical message is diluted by the tiresome repetition of the song’s chorus.
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